Juvenile suspect in stabbing death could be tried as an adult

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — The 17-year-old juvenile charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Leah Marie Adams could be tried as an adult if his case gets moved to Warren County Circuit Court.

The county Commonwealthís Attorneyís Office confirmed to Byrd Newspapers on Monday its intent to move for that to happen.

The boy is being held without bond, Commonwealthís Attorney Brian Madden said Tuesday.

Preliminary autopsy reports show that Adams, 19, of Front Royal, died Saturday from stab wounds to the chest, according to a Front Royal Police Department news release. Her death was determined to be a homicide by the Medical Examinerís Office, and an investigation is ongoing.

The boy was denied bond Monday during a detention hearing in Warren County Juvenile Court by Judge William W. Sharp. He remains incarcerated at the Northwestern Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

David Hensley of Winchester was named the juvenileís court-appointed attorney, according to Madden.

An April 6 preliminary hearing is tentatively set. That date could change, depending on factors such as whether the medical examinerís final autopsy report is finished, Madden said.

"April 6 is a date essentially that is set basically because it is required by law, but the parties can agree to extend it out," Madden said.

The case will be sent to circuit court if sufficient evidence of probable cause is determined during the preliminary hearing, Madden said. If the case goes to circuit court, the juvenile would be charged as an adult.

The boy was arrested Saturday night and charged with a count of second-degree murder, the release said. If convicted, the he faces five to 40 years in prison.

Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Kerfoot Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. to a report of a possible hit-and-run, police said. While responding to the incident, police received another call reporting attempted burglary nearby in the 100 block of South Shenandoah Avenue.

Adams was found with serious injuries on the scene of the reported hit-and-run, the release said. Emergency crews responded and provided immediate care. She was pronounced dead upon arrival to Warren Memorial Hospital.

Upon responding to the attempted burglary, officers encountered the juvenile suspect with minor injuries, the release said. He was detained and transported to Warren Memorial Hospital.

The juvenile and Adams were involved in ìsome type of physical confrontation in the roadway just prior to police being called,î the release said.

Adamsí vehicle ìsustained some damage,î and was located in proximity to Kerfoot and Shenandoah Avenues, the release said.

Pending final autopsy reports and consultation with the Commonwealth Attorneyís office, additional charges may be pressed, the release said.

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